Understanding Society

Tilburg University is convinced that it can contribute to solving social issues by developing and transferring knowledge and bringing together people from various disciplines and organizations.

Educational vision

What do we train our students for? While the answer to this question changes over the years, it is always linked to the tradition of our university – a university of humanities and social sciences. This tradition is one of involvement in and commitment to society. That is why the core characteristic of the Tilburg Educational Vision is that we train our students to become ‘thinkers aspiring to work for the benefit of their community, their society, and humanity as a whole,’ in other words to become ‘thinkers of character’.

In the Educational Vision, the labels knowledge, skills and character succinctly express what makes Tilburg University so distinctive. Students or alumni of Tilburg University stand out from others by their personal commitment to making a valuable contribution to our society.


Presentation Vision Statement

Image Education vision

“Our students are explicitly invited to develop a moral compass; we call this character building.”

“After their studies, they will, as professional thinkers of character, make a positive difference to society.”

“Only by ‘understanding society’ can we advance it in the direction of less misery, a fairer distribution of wealth, and sustainable well-being with more room for development of the necessary talent.”

“Tilburg University is student centric: The programs are entirely at the service of committed students who feel attracted to the moral duty we set ourselves and who (together with us) want to work towards improving the quality and sustainability of present-day societies on the basis of scientific insights.”

“As a result of the changing professional fields, substantially more attention will have to be paid to entrepreneurship – in the broadest possible sense.”

“We do not see students as consumers, but as members of the academic community and (therefore) as people taking responsibility.”

“We use ‘scalable teaching concepts’, tutor- and mentor groups, and make sure that students and teachers get the opportunity to build a personal relationship, which is essential for the transfer of knowledge, for practicing skills, and building character.”


We believe in a society where all people live a good life together in an ever-changing world. And we believe we have a responsibility to make this happen. That’s Understanding Society.